Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Emmett E. Denning

EMMETT E. DENNING, present clerk of the District Court for Wichita County, is probably the oldest living settler of the county, has long been a man of prominence, and he and his father before him have together held nearly all the important public offices in the county and in the Township of Leoti.

The Denning family made their settlement in Wichita County August 3, 1885. Mr. Denning's parents located a homestead on the northwest quarter of section 25, township 18, range 37. Mr. Denning is of fine old Irish stock. His grandfather, Alexander Denning, was born in Ireland and was a blacksmith and wagon maker. On coming to America he first located in Maryland and afterwards lived in Ohio. John A. Denning, father of Emmett E., was born in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1837, and was a Union soldier. He put in one year with the Union army in Company E of the One Hundred Twentieth Ohio Infantry. In a business way he followed saw milling, and also operated a planing mill, and as an early settlers in Western Kansas did his part toward the development and reclamation of the prairies of Wichita County. In Wichita County he served as postmaster and also as county treasurer, and was very active in the Grand Army of the Republic. He died in 1899. John A. Denning married Martha J. DeVore, daughter of G. and Letitia (Scheimer) DeVore. Mrs. John Denning died in 1912. They reared four children, Charles J., Emmett E., William J. and Paul W.

Emmett E. Denning was born January 13, 1862, and was a young man of twenty-three when the family located in Wichita County. As a youth he had the advantages of the common schools and a collegiate education, and otherwise found employment and training by work in his father's sawmill and planing mill. He was associated with his father's business for several years, but since coming to Wichita County has been a worker for the improvement of the land and the general upholding of good standards in the community.

Mr. Denning is one of the survivors of the historic county seat fight in Wichita County. He was one of a party of seven, the others being Charley Coulter, Billy Rains, Frank Janesse, Al Johnson, Al Borey and George Watkins, who on one Sunday left Leoti and went to Coronado, and as Mr. Denning says laconically, not all of them came back. They engaged a party of Coronado citizens in pitched battle, and when the smoke of that battle, marking the culmination of the county seat fight, had cleared away, Coulter, Rains and Watkins were dead, and all the other members of the party were wounded.

Mr. Denning has for many years been an active factor in the cattle business in Wichita County. He has served as deputy postmaster of Leoti, and on November 7, 1916, was elected to his present office as clerk of the District Court. He has always been an active republican and has done much to further the interests of his party in Western Kansas. In February, 1904, Mr. Denning married Anna G. Rewarts, daughter of T. L. Rewarts. They have one child, Pauline W. Denning.